upper waypoint

Above the Noise Partners with Common Sense Education on New Curriculum

Save ArticleSave Article
Failed to save article

Please try again

Together at last! Media Lit + Dig Cit.

This summer, KQED partnered with Common Sense Education to integrate our award-winning Above the Noise media literacy series into their new digital citizenship curriculum for high school. The two teams worked together to co-produce three new episodes of Above the Noise and incorporate KQED Learn resources into the Common Sense Education dig cit lessons. And, all these resources are available for free.

“The digital citizenship topics in these videos are so important and relevant to kids right now,” says Elizabeth Kline, Vice President of Education Programs at Common Sense, “and when it comes to delivering these types of ideas in a thought provoking way, KQED’s Above the Noise is way ahead of the curve. It’s a huge win for young people when organizations like KQED and Common Sense Education can combine our expertise in the areas of digital citizenship and media literacy for an engaging video collaboration like this.”

Above the Noise videos tackle topics that are timely and relevant to students’ lives. Series host Myles Bess presents the facts with flair, using relatable examples and humor, and gives a fair and balanced analysis of different perspectives on hotly debated topics. Students are then encouraged to do their own research into the issue and make up their own minds about it. They can take the learning further by joining a discussion about the issue with other students across the nation on KQED Learn, or even create and share their own media responses–like videos or infographics.

Executive producer Annelise Wunderlich says, “It was such a rich collaboration to co-produce these episodes of Above the Noise with the team at Common Sense Education. Our team of journalists, educators and video storytellers learned so much from Common Sense’s researchers and educators about how young people are navigating tough issues around online identity and behavior. It was a great creative partnership that drew from the strengths of both organizations.”


The Digital Citizenship Curriculum by Common Sense Education supports K–12 teachers as they prepare students to think critically and use technology responsibly to learn, create, and participate in the digital world. The curriculum was developed in collaboration with Project Zero at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and addresses teachers’ top tech-related concerns like media literacy, media balance, and dealing with hate speech online. With teachers’ guidance, students not only build essential skills, they also build lifelong habits to help them succeed in an increasingly tech-driven world.

These resources can be used one at a time or all together, depending on the learning environment and needs of teachers and students. To get started, try one of the three new videos co-produced by KQED and Common Sense:

The Health Effects of Screen Time: How Much is Too Much?

Social Media Readiness: When Is Your Brain Ready for Social Media?

Online Disinhibition and Cyberbullying: Is the Internet Making You Meaner?

Educators looking for something to further their own professional skills with making and teaching media can go to KQED Teach, which was named a “super PD resource” by Common Sense Education.

Above the Noise is a co-production with PBS Digital Studios. Funding for KQED Education is provided by the Koret Foundation, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, David Bulfer and Kelly Pope, the Silver Giving Foundation, the Stuart Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, the Rita Allen Foundation, Campaign 21 and the members of KQED.

lower waypoint
next waypoint